Indiana, PA - Indiana County

ZEKE WILSON: Time to go after trout

by on April 23, 2013 10:40 AM

For those who have the time and the ambition, targeting trout is tough to beat right now. It is almost daily that a stream or lake in our region is receiving a fresh round of hatchery-raised fish.

While my time has been spoken for with work, I have been paying close attention to the fishing pressure during my commutes. This past weekend it looked like the opening day at many popular fishing holes. With stocking lists now public information, anglers can pick and choose their destination and feel confident in their chances of filling a stringer.

Despite many who now practice catch-and-release, there is no shortage of those who still hit the water looking for their limit of five fish. With reduced numbers of stocked trout, during favorable water conditions a stream can be fished out, so to speak, in a week or so.

In approved waters where brown trout are stocked, the good fishing can continue into the summer because they are more apt to be tight-lipped during the first few weeks.

Luckily, for the time being there is a plethora of fish and streams, although many have already received their last round of fish.

n The youth turkey hunt had many experiencing high levels of excitement and adrenaline, with a few even allowed the calming aftereffects of filling their tag. Oftentimes the shakes associated with such a heart-pounding event allow for a clean miss rather than a toasted tom.

While some young hunters bagged their bird on Saturday, chances are that most experienced a thrilling hunt in the spring woods.

Unfortunately, the possibility of negatives, such as missing or not getting off a shot, are real, and it is the mentor’s responsibility to insure that the hunt is not a youth’s last.

As I have mentioned countless times in past columns, firearm confidence is the key to success. Amusingly, this is often given little consideration, and it is only after the fact that it’s realized that perhaps some shooting should have been done from the sitting position.

Another disadvantage for youth hunters is a lack of vision due to being so close to the ground. While this problem is unavoidable, taking the extra time to locate a spot that allows for some elevation can mean the difference.

With the regular season opening Saturday, the woods will be filled with clucks and yelps in the pursuit of poultry. Positively identifying your target seems obvious, yet each year hunters are blinded by excitement and makeirreversible decisions. Locating the beard will insure that the target is not another hunter or an inquisitive hen.

Another thing to keep in mind while out in the turkey woods is the popularity of decoys and shaker-style gobble calls.

Zeke Wilson is an outdoors writer for The Indiana Gazette. His columns appear Tuesday on the Outdoors page and in the Indiana County Area Sports section on The Indiana Gazette Online.
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